Author: Will Parkinson
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Length: Novel (180 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (August 8th, 2013)
Heat Level: No Sex
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4-4.5 Hearts
Blurb: The day Jackson Kern walks into Taylor Andrews’s classroom is a momentous day in Taylor’s life. He’s had crushes before, sure, but as time goes on, this is starting to look a whole lot more serious. Still, Jackson doesn’t return Taylor’s feelings.
Taylor has his own admirers, though. Kevin Richards is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Taylor, so when Taylor rejects him, Kevin retaliates. At first Taylor’s entourage rallies around him, but then Kevin takes his deception one step further and Taylor sees his support dwindle, teaching him the valuable lesson about who he can truly consider a friend.
Review: Let me start by saying I read this in one sitting. I was hooked, and I couldn’t put the story down. Way past midnight I finished, and I think that speaks a lot for my enjoyment of this story. This was a sweet, gentle read and who cares if I was a grumpy poobum today, it was worth it.
The things I liked:
How well this story portrays the hopes, yearnings, and starry-eyed moments of youth.
That the book explored not only romance—in fact, that was almost a side story in this book—but emotions of jealousy, self-doubt, and above all FRIENDSHIP. And that last one was a real treasure to read.
The thing I LOVED most:
Benny. Can I just swoon now? Please? He totally captured my heart. He’s the warmest, truest Best Friend ever! I wanted to be sucked into the pages, into their world, just so I could hug him and say thank you personally.
The ‘not quite my thing’:
The last twist in the book.
I’m a sensitive wee soul, and I hate to see anyone get hurt. Don’t let that put you off reading—there’s a very sweet HEA, but I was ready for Taylor and Jackson to walk off into the sunset after the first villain of the story is exposed, and the two of them come together.
I also wished there was more baseball games. I thought Jax could have been tested on the pitch in some way. I kept expecting he’d lose a game and then really figure out who his friends were.
This is a fun YA story that certainly brought me back to my own days at high school and my own unrequited crushes! In some ways, it was almost embarrassing thinking I had mooned and moped about just like Taylor, but that’s what I like about this story—it feels real to me. Though I was never as rational and clear-headed as Taylor and Benny. Sometimes they were just a little too good.
I’m really anticipating Benny’s story now . . . there was one chapter in this book that was almost a set up for the next book, and I really want to read it from Benny’s point of view!